MIAMI BEACH — Regis Philbin began today’s discussion with a clarification: “I’m moving on, not retiring.”
Last night at NATPE, the TV execs conference being held in Miami Beach, the “Live” talk show host was honored alongside “Entertainment Tonight” anchor Mary Hart, sports legend Dick Ebersol and RTL Group CEO Gerhard Zeiler with the Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Award.
Today, both Philbin and Hart spoke to the press and conference attendees. The 79-year-old TV legend may look his age, but he certainly doesn’t act it. At the top of the interview, it was Regis imitating Regis. By channeling the exaggerated version of himself (see he does have a sense of humor), he instantly won the crowd over.
Hart’s not ready to use the R word either. She announced last August that she was leaving “Entertainment Tonight” on May 25.
“Regis doesn’t want to use the R word – retirement – and neither do I,” says Hart. “I want to do something different. It may not be on television.”
Both Hart and Philbin made reference to a discussion the night before about possibly working together on a project. It wouldn’t be the first time. The duo co-hosted a short-lived talk show on NBC in 1981.
Legacy honoree, Dick Ebersole, head of NBC Sports, said Philbin should be the network’s sideline reporter on NBC coverage of Notre Dame football, Philbin shared. “I’d love that!” said Philbin, an alumni.
For the immediate future, Philbin says he “wants to relax a little bit.”
Well, that wraps up my summary for the third and final day of the conference. Find out what Regis thinks of a slate of possible replacements; plus, what’s the interview Mary Hart regrets not getting? And a conversation about her famous gams.
All this, plus photos! Photos! Photos! I’ll have it all posted by Friday and in Sunday's print edition.
See you in Naples! Until then, stay tuned!
Bill Green is a Naples Daily News/naplesnews.com journalist with a secret life as a couch potato. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.